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Drapery Hanging Styles

Updated: May 31, 2022

Curtains have the power to transform a house into a home by making the space more inviting, livable, and representative of your personality. One way to give your drapes a unique, custom look and connect with your personality is to select the top style. Top style dictates how your drapes hang from the curtain rod.


The three most popular styling options are rod pocket, back tab, and grommet. Each has it's own aesthetic and features, but how do you know which style is right for you? We’re taking a look at the different options and how they can fit into your home’s style.

Rod Pocket

A rod pocket is a pocket, hence the name, at the top of the curtain panel. It is made by folding the top of the curtain down and stitching it in place. We like a 3-inch rod pocket so that you can use a decorative rod that is approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, or a continental rod, which is approximately 3 inches tall. Once the panels are on the rod, they have a nice shirred look. Think of fabric bunching around an elastic waistband. If you do not plan to open and close your curtains very much, this is a great option for you. It also works great if you like to hold your curtains open with tiebacks, which can be from the same fabric or something unique to you like a beaded necklace or printed scarf. Another option would be to purchase clip rings and hang the panel from them.

Back Tab

Back tabs are like belt loops but are on the back of the curtain panel. They are typically a 2-by-3-inch loop sewn to the back of the curtain at the top. Most (not all) back tab curtains are also rod pocket curtains. Think of it as a 2 for 1 styling deal! Back tab panels work best on decorative curtain rods that are approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. To hang, you thread the curtain rod, through the back tabs, much like putting a belt through belt loops. The panel is hung so the back tabs face out the window, not into the room. The aesthetic of a back tab is a clean, tailored look, and creates a nice fold between each tab to give the curtain panel depth. They are easier to open and close than a rod pocket.


A grommet is a metal ring that is attached to the top of the curtain panel, and the center fabric is punched out. A decorative rod, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter is threaded through the rings. A grommet panel will easily slide open and closed. The aesthetic is more modern than the other options. Grommets are made out of metal and come in a variety of finishes. We suggest that you match the grommet and the decorative rod.

Pinch Pleats

Pinch pleats are not as readily available in the marketplace and lean towards a more traditional aesthetic. They have been around forever, and are slowly re-gaining interest in the design world. We will be adding this style option to our regular assortment soon, and we are currently accepting custom orders for this style!

The common pinch pleat styles are a two-pleat or three-pleat and there are two ways to hang these curtain panels:

  1. They have skinny loops on the back. A decorative rod, approximately 1.5 inches can be threaded through the loops or clip rings can be purchased to create a slightly more contemporary look.

  2. There is a pinch pleat tape sewn onto the back. A drapery hook can be inserted into the pleat and hung from rings or a traverse rod.


At the drape, we invite you to create and design the curtain that is perfect for you by selecting your fabric, color, and styling option. Don’t feel like you have to make all these decisions alone. We are here to help. Ask a designer for a free 30-minute design appointment to walk you through all these choices.


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